Warts are small, fleshy, noncancerous, painless growths that appear on skin or
mucous membrane after being infected with various strains of human
papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can easily spread from one part of the body to
another part or even from one person to another person by contact with the
wart. In India alone, there are more than 10 million cases per year. The virus
triggers additional cell growth that makes the skin thick and hard, particularly
on backs of hands, the fingers, the skin around nails, and the feet. They vary in
size-- from the size of a small pinhead to a large pea. Typically they arise from
where the skin is broken, perhaps after biting fingernails or from injury.
Warts are highly contagious and are mainly passed by direct skin contact, and hence it spreads fast if one has the habit of picking warts and then touching other body parts. Similarly, it can also spread with use of towels or razors. The type of wart depends on its location and what it looks like.
The different types of warts are plantar, filiform, flat, and genital warts. It may take few to even few years for them to disappear. Most warts are harmless, and usually there is no intervention required unless they become painful or embarrassing.
The best treatment to be given depends on age, health and the type of wart. The other treatment options include peeling agents, use of duct tape, cryosurgery, cantharidin, prescription creams etc. Homeopathy is the preferred treatment as it is rapid, gentle, and leads to permanent cure of warts.